Online retailer Snapdeal is in advanced talks to acquire Komli Media in a deal that values the ad technology company at about $300 million, the same as when it raised funds from investors last year.
The deal will give Snapdeal engineering capabilities in Bengaluru as it battles Flipkart, as well as help it notch up advertising revenues by selling space on the ecommerce site, according to a person familiar with the deal. "These guys have so much traffic, it makes sense to monetise it," said another person. According to audience measurement platform SimilarWeb, Snapdeal had an estimated 79.8 monthly visitors in February and Flipkart, 110.5 million.
Flipkart recently made clear its plans to sell advertising on its platform. The ecommerce firm also acquired ad technology company Adiquity. "This is incorrect, we are not acquiring Komli media," a spokesperson for Snapdeal said. An e-mail to Snapdeal co-founder Kunal Bahl was unanswered at the time of going to press.
Amar Goel CEO & Chairman of Komli Media declined to comment on the deal. Komli, founded in 2006, has raised $97 million in five rounds from investors including Nexus Venture Partners and Peepul Capital. It employs nearly 300 people across India and started as a digital advertising network buying and selling advertising inventory online in Asia Pacific.
Goel also set up Pubmatic, focused on technology for online advertising in the US in 2008. Inmobi, another ad-network based in Bengaluru, was founded a year later and went on to raise $200 million from Japan's Softbank.
Driven by increased spending by ecommerce companies, India's online advertising market is set to grow by 30% this financial year to reach a total size of Rs 3,575 crore, according to the Digital Advertising India report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India.
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